Video: Aaron Gwin's Incredible Flat Tire Race Run

Jun 16, 2014
by Pinkbike Staff  



183 Comments

  • + 145
 Still way faster than me! Also, I want to see post-race pictures of that rim up close
  • + 68
 I will never complain about tire grip again. This was epic.
  • + 100
 I can imagine the new market, tyreless rims, less weight, more enduro, very speed.
  • + 17
 Think this one is better

www.pinkbike.com/photo/11076435
  • + 19
 Permission to say what the f*ck?
Erm... Am I the only person who expected to see a destroyed rim? Having just received almost an entire wc dh run.
  • + 24
 Josh may have won the race, but Aaron stole the show!
  • + 5
 It's like seeing a car accident after it's already happened. We want to see how it happened, but vice versa in this case. It's often we see the effect, but seldom the cause. When it's flipped around the aftermath is just as interesting. It's a natural human curiosity.
  • + 2
 He went so fast even the inner tube completely disintegrated.....
  • + 1
 i would have cringed soo much if it was my wheel
  • + 2
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/11086216 - It looked like it held up pretty well from where I was standing! Was still round, was not expecting that!
  • + 92
 Whoever are the rim manufacturers - throw out your testing equipment - this is the best you'll get - priceless advertising and marketing right there.
  • + 19
 DT Swiss. Some of the strongest lightest stuff i have ever ridden. Highly recommend their stuff.
  • + 15
 some say it was a marketing ploy.... some will never know
  • + 16
 AG is the Stig of mtb for sure
  • + 5
 How come he doesn't use roval? I'm surprised spesh let that one go.
  • + 1
 dt swiss already has that footy linked up on the ex 471 product page, although the vid appears to be down now on youtube
  • + 1
 I must admit that I'm surprised they were not Roval but then again Roval Rims are the most expensive out there. I had some and ouf.... You almost protect them with your life so they don't get damaged.
  • + 79
 Wheel for sale, only one race run on it!
  • + 1
 I bet someone wants to buy this as a collectors item.
  • + 53
 Now that's a rim job
  • + 4
 Grimming!
  • + 10
 that pun is a stretch but we'll accept it
  • + 6
 Methinks you'd need to be a cunning linguist to pick up on all the innuendo.
  • + 37
 My jaw was on the floor in awe and disbelief the whole time I was watching this yesterday. Incredible display of skill and determination.
  • + 27
 You can see him push it even faster once the crowd starts going wild! He definitely gave them a show.
  • + 42
 At this moment my wife said: Nope, this is not football.
  • + 13
 I can't imagine live. I think I would have shit my pants. I am pretty sure I stopped breathing just watching it on the tube. With his rear tire dragging along, for whatever bizarre reason all I could think of was a wounded samurai with his intestines hanging out while he continues to cut his way through a field of enemies. Flipping unbelievable.
  • + 34
 UCI blocked the video?! Middle finger to them!
  • + 15
 Fuck the UCI.
  • + 2
 yeah why block it? it will no doubt be considered one of the highlights of the entire season and has turned out to be excellent pr for dt swiss so the uci block it? wtf? do they just not like dh or something? sometimes i wonder if they even understand what downhill mountain biking is.
  • + 33
 No tire but still on fire.
  • + 5
 Will stay forever in DT Swiss Hall Of Fame
  • + 26
 "Absolutely on fire with no tire!"-Rob Warner
This quotes deserves to be a slogan!
  • + 20
 Who needs tires when you got balls like coconuts
  • + 19
 That guy, what a man !! He's gonna smash it in the next rounds !!!!!! COME ON GWIN YOU'RE THE BEST !!!
  • + 7
 I like ur thoughts an words!!!! He is badass.....
  • + 15
 i forsee a very very mad mechanic, and soon an sponsor saying something like "the one and only rim than can withstand a no tire WC run" he is making money out of it any way.
  • + 12
 I forsee a mechanic that will quadruple check those tires before the next race run. I don't think they care too much about a rim. If the prototype frame is damaged, that might be another issue I guess.
  • + 25
 Really? I forsee a mechanic looking in the job section of the newspaper........
  • + 12
 Flipside is the manufacturer may also be ridiculed for making a wheel with poor bead seat capabilities.
  • + 1
 Yeah I was thinking the same thing, maybe the she is the reason the for didnt seat properly. 95% its the mechanics fault. Luck > skill sometimes
  • + 3
 Best run of the race. Put the rim in the mtb hall of fame. CRAZY.
  • + 2
 His time was only a few seconds off the woman's runs...
  • - 1
 Bad rim or bad tires are both possible, but what are the odds the rims/tires he ran for practice and qualifications would give up on the FIRST CORNER...
Ever get to a trail, realize your tires are low and you forgot your pump, and have to decide whether or not to just go for it?
  • + 4
 That wasn't the first corner. Remember that most of the course isn't on camera. Also, DH eats tons of tires even when installed perfectly and free of defects. You hit a rock just right, it's game over.
  • + 13
 Gwin is one of the first generation of corporate cyborg. They made him in the speCIAlized bunker under the HQ. As you know it took them a while to get his software to work with the demo platform. Ratboy is an earlier model. Before they nailed the speech chip.
  • + 14
 Copyright restrictions!? UCI, what are you doing?
  • + 8
 until technology allows it racers are gonna have to give up just a bit of traction for reliability. Gwinn may have just blown a championship with one flat. tubeless works great but it is only really reliable at a slightly lower pressure than a tube. why does everyone want to go way lower damaging rims and risking a burp. keep the pressure slightly lower than a tubed setup and you still have way more traction. the amount of flats this year is insane!
  • + 4
 I run tubes at 16 psi on wide rims with 2.5 tyres, never pinch so how much lower do you need... tubeless just not there yet, sidewalls get cut too easy..
  • + 1
 upvoted bat-fastard just for the name. Well done.
  • + 3
 comes from the hainebrink bat fastard forks form late 90's, first 8" travel upside downers when everyone else had 4" rock shoxs, someone shouted it at me on a race run and it kind of stuck lol
  • + 7
 I know this might be a stupid question, but I still do not understand why nobody is running thick tubeless tires to not get a flat tire?
Or is there no other solution to avoid these flats nowadays? I mean compared to the other technologies which are used nowadays flats seems kind of annoying and obsolete....
  • + 13
 The tire rolled off the rim. And yes I agree, there needs to be more effort put into tire tech/rim tech and keeping that bad boy on the wheel with air in it at all times. Instead we focus on the actual size of the wheel Smile
  • + 2
 It wasnt a puncture. The tire came off the rim. Also no one wants to run a thick and heavy tire.
  • + 8
 When you run tube less at that level these guys rip tires off the rim. N sometimes shit happens you know?
  • + 7
 What happened to that 2-layer tubular tire prototype a while back? Inner tube inflates to super high pressures to retain the tire on the rim, outer tube inflates to regular (low) tubeless pressures. Seems like that's the answer to keep it from rolling off.
  • + 7
 Schwalbe dual chamber system, foam core,...they need something. Travel across the world for one run to get a flat and there's only a handful of races/season.yikes
  • - 1
 So this was actually the result of him running tubeless correct? This type of thing wouldn't happen had been running tubes correct?
  • + 4
 I thought some of these wc racers were running ultra light tubes inside a UST system, without the anti-flat slime of course. the compared weight is similar but if they pinch flat the UST seal is good enough to keep air in for a 3 minute run, and won't burp either because there's a tube inside. Now, if you pinch AND burp you're outta luck using any rubber.... we're still talking about bikes right?

At every local race (CA enduro and Fontana DH) i've attended recently, all the flats have been happening to riders with tubeless systems where the tire burps/rolls off the rim. as far as i can tell there isn't a true advantage to tubeless (at the amateur race level) other than thinking tubes are uncool. but i'm unsure of the distribution of riders running tubed/tubeless.
  • + 4
 Mavic's Deemax are the only true tubeless DH wheels. Rim hooks are really proeminent on mavic rims and I never heard of somebody rolling off his tire on Deemax.
  • + 1
 He rolled the tire off rim, most likely due to running a lower tire pressure than what people run in their tires with tubes.
  • + 3
 Deemax are not the only true tubeless rim. ALL mavic ust rims use the same bead profile
  • + 2
 There was a lot off effort put into a tire/rim system and it was called UST.
But some people insisted that tractors and bicycles should be the exclusive users of tubes so tire companies had to do 2 versions of any new tire...
Than some smart-a** cam up with tubless-ready and tire companies saw that they can sell one tire for both the tubeless and the tube fraction without investing in two molds. Just that it dos not work too well...

Anyway big props to Gwin this was absolutely insane! i wish i could ride like this with tires...
  • + 1
 and the industry want to push hookless rims hah
  • + 10
 Aaron Gwin is the epitome of professionalism.
  • + 8
 this reminds me when i lost my shoe in lil league baseball but made it to first place. except, you know, this is like a bigger deal.
  • + 10
 Gwin was railin' it!
  • + 3
 literally! hah
  • + 6
 Lol! Its like the tire is slapping him in the ass, telling him to go faster!
  • + 8
 (key music) You ride chain-less? I ride tire-less, fool! He's fast, he's faster than you...
  • + 6
 Looks like DT Swiss is already jumping on this awesome opportunity to market their rims.
Check out the video and comment at the bottom of the product page.

www.dtswiss.com/Components/Rims-MTB/EX-471
  • + 4
 Interesting they don't advertise it as a DH or FR rim on their performance chart.
  • + 7
 It says the UCI has blocked the video for copy right, Clearly being bribed by tyre companies, doesn't want us to know your quicker without tyres.... CYCLING CONSPIRACIES
  • + 7
 I really like the fact that you can hear all the fans cheering for him all the way down the track....that's awesome!
  • + 8
 Well, I'm gonna go ahead and say it....I think he would've beaten my time.
  • + 7
 oh,you say you have a flat so you cant ride and you go home..thats cute..
  • + 7
 Auction the wheel for share the ride!
  • + 7
 should have been on a 26....his tire wouldnt have come off....
  • + 5
 He had a 29er tire on his 650b
  • + 5
 Look at Ratboy's face in the hot seat. He is thinking:"Oh my god. I am goin' to win my first worldcup race, but everyone will talk about Gwin's run."
  • + 5
 Smile and all after a flat tire! That's one reason why Gwin is a top favorite of so many people.
  • + 1
 Any idea why his tire made it through less than 1 corner?
Air pressure too low? Faulty tire? Bad mounting job?
If it didn't survive the very first corner, when he wasn't even up to full speed, I can't imagine it would have lasted the whole race, so Gwin was screwed from the start.
  • + 1
 was wondering the same thing.....very disappointing
  • + 2
 Sounds like pressure too low
  • + 1
 It happens between 11 and 16 seconds (the flat). The action of the rear wheel between 11 and 12 sec looks odd. At the 13 sec he is leaving the berm and tire appears ok, then between 13 & 16 there is no image, at 17 its down. Does anybody see when it happened?
  • + 6
 I think there is a segment that we don't see, they only show us the start and then skip about a minute and a half, the part where you see him coming out of the corner with the flat tire is way down the track. Because if you go to 01:10 in the video, the timer is actually at 02:40, so that means that the video doesn't show the whole run... I think they always have to do that because they can't fit the whole course with cameras.
  • + 1
 @mobweb,
Watching again I think you are right. You can see him coming out of the tunnel with a flat.
What fooled me was the seamless commentary. It would be very interesting to see how this whole thing is produced. Did they pick camera angles to make it seem like they show the whole run?
  • + 4
 It is obvious the whole run isn't shown. They're not hiding anything. The clock shows that the coverage is abbreviated with each and every run. The production crew real time edits footage that the commentators watch and comment on as it is shown just moments after it is compiled. The logistics are impressive. Word is that the tire rolled off. Given the speed these guys ride at, that's not unusual at all. In person it sounds like sledgehammers hitting rocks as they absolutely rampage through stuff us mortals do at like one quarter the speed. We could point fingers and blame something of someone. But in my opinion, everyone is smart, professional and doing their job as well as humans currently know how. Improvements can and will be made but it isn't like anyone did anything wrong.
  • + 1
 very well said!
  • + 5
 Thanks UCI. You're the friend that kills the party.
  • + 2
 Name a bureaucratic institute of presumed authority that isn't...
  • + 5
 Hats off to you good sir.
  • + 3
 I can't believe that tire didn't bind up in the rear triangle, I thought It was going to happen like every time the damn thing went flopping around......dude is a beast!!!!
  • + 1
 Crazy that it held up so nicely. I am glad the lbs recommend these hoops mine are on their way and I purchased them way before I knew this had happened. This now gives nice clear head space and confidence in the rims. The real question is would other rims hold up like this I think there are many that would do the same
  • + 2
 thanks mate!
  • + 3
 Gwin!...the only man who makes the impossible possible. video of day or month is not enough, this is the video of ever!
  • + 4
 good enough for top 10 in the womens field lol
  • + 1
 The rock garden on the rim ... On behalf of all rims, I strongly protest. These are inhuman riding conditions. BTW, somebody called for a mechanic with strong truing skills
  • + 2
 This was awesome and also kind of scary. Was there a points reason for him to ride as aggressively as he did without a tire?
  • + 7
 #1)Looking like a badass
#2)salvaging points
  • + 4
 He's currently 2nd in points. He would most likely still be in first if not for the flat.
  • + 2
 Did he get more points by riding on his rim like a badass (and thus getting down faster) than he would have if he had simply slowly and carefully rolled the rest of the course?
  • + 1
 I'm not sure but it might be safer for him to pin it, instead of choosing another (unknown) line and messing up? Also I haven't seen this type of course live yet, but it just might not be possible to go much slower due to steepness/obstacles? Usually when I'm tried and consciously going slower I mess up more than I would if I tried to go at normal pace. Wink
  • + 1
 He's one of the best DHers in the world. He will ride as fast as his equipment and body will let him ride - especially in a race. Friggin' amazing.
  • + 2
 call me naive, but i think he did it cos it was fun. he was enjoying himself and the crowd loved it. he could maybe have salvaged a few points, but with a flat that early i doubt he really thought he had a chance. i think the man just enjoys pinning it down a steep hill. and i for one cant say i blame him.
  • + 1
 DT Swiss posted the run on their website on the product page for the EX 471 rims under the "News and Riders" tab. Looks as though they're pretty happy to get some unexpected marketing on the MTB rims.
  • + 1
 Those rims aren't even intended for DH use according to the site's specs for it. (See similar comment above)
  • + 4
 Must have been listening to queen- don't stop me now!!!
  • + 4
 Man what rim is he running
  • + 10
 a solid one a guess
  • + 4
 Dt Swiss I think
  • + 6
 DT swiss EX471, There's a link to a picture in the comments
  • - 5
flag trailwinder (Jun 16, 2014 at 16:25) (Below Threshold)
 ride nimbus rims, ride mavic 729's untill you get nimbus rims from unicycle.com dt swiss are soft i hear.
  • + 4
 Keeping the spirit of DH alive! I was grinning as much as he was !
  • + 1
 you and me both.
  • + 4
 Well now people who moan about tyres are officially funny.
  • + 4
 New race format anyone?
  • + 1
 I have an old wheel that I have been keeping as a backup. I'm about 100% certain it would fold pretty quickly though.
  • + 2
 Maxxis or whoever, needs to make an entire rim out of hard rubber. That run was unbelievable. Even though he lost, gwin won!
  • + 1
 Specialized tires I'd guess.
  • + 1
 I bet a Maxxis EXO tire would have been fine. Specialized tires are easy to set up tubeless but don't compare, at least from my experience.
  • + 2
 Demonstration of skillset with a true skinny on the back! Another level indeed!
  • - 1
 That rim is seriously over designed if it didn't explode on that run. They could probably shave another pound off that thing with some re-engineering. Maybe run 16 spokes. Geesh. btw, when's the auction for that piece of UCI DH memorabilia?
  • + 3
 just one word: legend
  • + 2
 DT SWISS.................Dam!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Not saying this has anything to do with what happened, but what tire pressure is he running? Anybody know?
  • + 87
 Looks like zero psi
  • + 2
 ^hahaha!^
  • + 1
 Hahaha fair enough, but jokes aside what psi do most WC guys run? I imagine gwin would ride with a bit more air than most.
  • + 3
 12-23psi
  • + 4
 I saw it in a MBA article he runs like 28 and 30 psi
  • + 4
 Thanks guys, i obviously worded my first comment very poorly.
  • + 13
 Going to be really pedantic, if he had zero psi there would be a perfect vacuum around his rim, which has so far been impossible to achieve with current technology. It's more correct to say he's running 14.7 psi, assuming he is at sea level, as this is the average (mean) air pressure. Granted he is not at sea level so it may be a bit less but you get the idea
  • + 3
 Thanks, it's not every day you learn something on pinkbike
  • + 5
 @jamieridesbikes He didn't specify absolute or gage pressure, but zero psi implies gage. Unless you have a calibrated barometer hooked up to your floor pump you do all your bike stuff in gage too. Pedantry is dumb.

Besides, it's not "more correct" to use absolute pressure for cycling, it's just a different (and undoubtedly more relevant) terminology. What would be the point of stating tire pressures in absolute measurements? The softness/firmness of the tire depends on the atmospheric pressure, so gage pressure is the only meaningful number to use.

And you can have a perfect vacuum with 'current technology'. Take a container out to space, empty it, fly even deeper into space, then close it. Particle density out there is so low that your probability of catching one in the container is also very low, meaning with a little luck you'd have a perfect vacuum (in the classical sense).
  • + 1
 But arguably we don't have the tech to get to deep space and back :p
Yes pedantry is dumb, but it's fun
  • + 2
 Nice Work UCI. Stopping everyone watching it. Real classy. D1cks.
  • - 2
 Why is this such a big deal...someone rolled tire off rim...tire luckily didn't get caught up in drive-train allowing rider to ride on rim...rim held up like "most" aluminum rims would pretty much regardless of who built wheel...rider got last place...Blenki got a flat tire in FW last week, finished race and nobody discussed it when it harder to ride a flat tire on rim than on rim alone.
  • + 2
 because he went way faster than anyone thought possible given the situation. just like hills run down champery in the wet. or harts for that matter. winning is good, but sticking two fingers up to minor setbacks like torrential rain just before a run everyone else got to do in the dry, or having no tyre, and just pushing on at race pace anyway, still wearing a huge grin is what makes our sport bloody awesome. if you pull off a run everyone knows was fast, it doesn`t matter where you place
  • + 2
 That is the sickest World Cup run I have ever seen. At a boy gwinny
  • + 1
 Friends ~ What are you doing? Let's go now to buy EX471.

^^*)
  • + 1
 What we will see on pinkbike buy and sell is, " slightly used wheel, couple of scratches" reduced price. lol
  • + 3
 The real tubeless
  • + 1
 if your in a dh final your not just gonaa give up at all are you?
  • + 0
 And the whole world is hooked to the wrong World Cup - they don't know what the're missing
  • + 1
 Hats off! These are tireless wheels presented by Aaron.
  • + 1
 I'd liked to see him try that with a blown FRONT tyre!...or both?
  • + 1
 Not really sure how that works? But so solid anyways
  • + 2
 EPIC EPIC EPIC
  • + 2
 #rimming
  • + 1
 That should be a commercial for DT Swiss rims!
  • + 1
 new sponsor for next year with DT SWISS, chuckles
  • + 2
 Bare skillz
  • + 0
 Tie two beer cans to his bike instead of wheels and... well, he will win you. No kidding.
  • + 2
 best run ever.. period .
  • + 1
 Like a Boss...
  • + 1
 Aaron effing Gwin!!!!
  • - 2
 That's what you get for riding a stupid Specialized. Especially a dumb Demo. Looks like he picked the right rim sponsor though.
  • + 1
 I want those rims
  • - 2
 Hutchinson tires are hands down the best Tubeless tires out there. Gwinn wouldn't have flatted with Cougars.
  • - 1
 Best downhill racer of all time for sure.
  • - 3
 Dont understand why they just don't run 2 tubes!
  • + 2
 i think this is probably the stupids thing i have ever read.
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